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Backpacking unlike hiking is a wonderful outdoor activity that involves multiday outings on foot along with a pack for carrying necessities for spending the night out along with food and water during the day. Because all this gear must be carried on one's back, careful choices must be made in order to minimize weight. The advantage of using a backpack is that you will be able to go deeper in the wilderness and see more terrain then if you are limited to how far you can go out and return as would be the case on a day hike. Also for many, the experience of camping in a remote spot in the wilderness has it's own rewards. The disadvantages are having to carry a pack around and the extra time involved in setting up and breaking down camps.

What Backpacker's choose to put in their packs can vary greatly, but to break it down into broad essentials, most carry some sort of shelter (tent / bivy bag) a sleep system (pad and sleeping bag) food, clothing, water, first aid, toiletries, and other personal items.

Another consideration when backpacking are animals. Overnight stays along with having a camp set up for the day greatly increases the likelihood of unwanted visitors in camp. This includes bears in many areas. Therefore having the ability to store scented items is vital. A bear canister is the best way to keep food and other scented items safe from intruding animals. Many wilderness areas now require backpackers to carry bear canisters so that animals do not get accustomed to people food and become a problem.

Well that's just a bit about backpacking. It is the only way to go when it comes to getting deep into the wilderness in areas where mechanized vehicles cannot travel because of rough terrain, or are not allowed by law.

See you in camp,
Dave French

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